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ERIC Number: EJ779898
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7240
Development of Moral Motivation from Childhood to Early Adulthood
Nunner-Winkler, Gertrud
Journal of Moral Education, v36 n4 p399-414 Dec 2007
Luhmann, a prominent exponent of social systems theory, maintains that in modern, functionally differentiated societies morality is neither possible nor necessary. Against this claim it is argued that democracies want citizens with moral motivation. In contrast to Kohlberg, moral motivation is conceptualised as independent of stage of moral development, i.e. of the complexity of sociocognitive reasoning capacity. It is defined as willingness to do what one knows to be right even if that entails personal costs. This definition agrees with children's understanding. Moral motivation is assessed using emotion attributions. As empirically demonstrated, emotions indicate value commitments and action dispositions and this allows a motivational interpretation of the "happy victimiser phenomenon", i.e. younger children's tendency to expect wrongdoers to feel good. Drawing on a longitudinal study, the development of moral motivation from childhood to early adulthood is described. There is a steady increase in sample means, yet individual trajectories vary widely. Possible determinants as well as some educational implications are briefly discussed. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, 3 notes and 1 footnote.) [This article is the text of the 19th Lawrence Kohlberg Memorial Lecture presented at the 32nd annual conference of the Association for Moral Education, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 6 July 2006.]
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany